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The Book Thief Hardcover – 1 Jan 2007
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A moving work which will make many eyes brim. -- Marianne Brace, Independent on Sunday
Extraordinary, resonant and relevant, beautiful and angry. -- Lisa Hilton, Sunday Telegraph
Unsettling, thought-provoking, life-affirming, triumphant and
tragic, this is a novel of breath-taking scope, masterfully told...A
-- The Guardian
The story of a young German girl who steals books, of her family and the Jewish boxer hidden in their basement as they struggle to survive in Nazi Germany when the bombs begin to fall.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
It’s told in quite a unique way and narrated by Death. As the book is set in Nazi Germany, Death was pretty busy. The story focuses on Liesel, a nine-year-old, fostered by a family living in Himmel Street. And she steals books.
It’s a beautiful story evoking a multitude of emotions amidst the tragedy that was Nazi Germany that saw the deaths of six million Jews and many, many others. By contrast you have a touching relationship between Liesel and her foster parents…her foster ‘papa’ in particular. Then there's the awkward, but tender friendship between Liesel and her peer, Rudy. This is a story like no other, crafted in an original style.
Ultimately, I rather enjoyed the fact that it was a long book. How many times have you reluctantly reached the end of a book with that mixture of joy to have finished a good story but sad to have to leave the world of the characters you love therein? It was rather comforting to know that for many pages, I wouldn’t be leaving the very endearing Liesel and the wonderful voice of Death.
Read it. Just read it.
There are already a lot of lengthy reviews about this book. This is not so much of a review as a recommendation. A good book that I think most people would like.
Incidentally, I have typed variations of 'recommendation' 4 times now in this review and this is the first time that I have got the double 'm; single 'c' thing right. Write Amazon reviews and learn to spell.
The novel follows the journey of an innocent girl living in the time of Nazi Germany and charts her experiences of war and loss but, more importantly, the slow building horror as she finally confronts the truth about what's happening to the Jews.
Leisel is a great fictional character. The story of her life ufolds at a slow pace and it's fair to say there's a lot of scene setting as Markus Zusak takes great care to develop Leisel's world and the host of characters sharing it with her. The historical aspects read well. There are times when the plot meanders away and I was wondering when we'd get back to the real story, at more than 500 pages there's space for self indulgence, and that's really my only 'niggle'.
There's a fair amount of fantasy running alongside the horror, having Death narrate the story is something I wouldn't have expected, but it works. The spectral figure of Death relating the surreal events of the times adds a great deal of contrast and a real hint of darkness which is beautifully evoked against the loss of Liesel's innocence as the poverty and horror of war creep into her little town blackening the air around her.
The ending is brilliantly done and, like 'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, you've read it before the true catastrophe draws you back in makes you think WHAT!.
There are many subtle messages floating around in The Book Thief not least the one of how book burning cannot quell the spirit of a people...especially Liesel. This isn't a straightforward story. It's quirky and unusual. Took me a while to read because parts of the narrative run slowly but I'd recommend it to anyone.
All I will say is this is a must read and one of the most moving books I have read in a long while. The narrative style of this writer draws you in immediately and you literally find you can't put the book down until it's finished. The story itself is mesmerizing and presents a life of Nazi Germany outside of the camps and the bravery of people who risked their lives to save the Jews amongst all the propaganda and brain washing of a nation. We have an orphan, foster parents, a best friend with lemon coloured hair and a young Jew desperately trying to avoid capture and what that will lead to.
The book ends on a note of hope but not before the end of so many innocent lives.
Please can we have a sequel to this ? I would so like to know what happens to Max and the Book Thief afterwards and their journey to heal from their horrific experiences!
This film is a must for those who want something different from the usual gore and horror of war to something different. A message of hoe and most of all, this story was true. It will make You want to see it again and again.